MARIA CALLAS

the Eternal "Divina"

OUR DISCOVERIES

Bande No. 1

Bande No. 1

MARIA CALLAS

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR • BERLIN 1955

The best account of that legendary recording comes from Robert Sutherland, her pianist during the last tour of concerts in 1973-74, who recalled the evenings spent at Callas’s apartment at Avenue Georges Mandel: “We listened to a pirate recording of the Berlin Lucia. She remembered how Karajan angered the soloists by repeating the sextet without warning them. As we listened to the encore she said ‘You can hear how angry I was! And I still had the mad scene to sing! I told him afterwards at dinner that he dare not do that again on me or there would be trouble!’ We listened to the mad scene, an amazing performance. She was visibly impressed. ‘I don’t now how I did it. I just don’t know how - and to think that I wept after that performance because I thought I was so far off my aim.’ I had difficulty in expressing my reaction. Such a combination of controlled technical brilliance and artistic imagination was astounding. I attempted it with, ‘It’s marvellous singing…’ ‘Marvellous? Marvellous?’ She pulled herself up in the sofa. ‘It isn’t marvellous, it’s bloody miraculous!’”

MARIA CALLAS

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR • BERLIN 1955

MARIA CALLAS

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR • BERLIN 1955

The story of this discovery

"In May 2022, while working in the RBB archives, we discovered the original tapes of this legendary 1955 recording - undoubtedly one of the most important operatic testimonies of the 20th century: Lucia di Lammermoor, recorded in concert on September 29, 1955 at the Städtische Oper Berlin, featuring Di Stefano, Panerai, von Karajan and Callas.
Although we note that the first few bars of Tape No. 1 have deteriorated, the minutes that follow reveal a richness of timbre and dynamics incomparable with the editions known to date.
Four months of painstaking work were necessary to restore the full brilliance of the orchestra, the La Scala Chorus and the legendary voices of this moving piece of history and music."

Frédéric D'ORIA-NICOLAS
Musical treasure seeker

THE FORMATS OF THIS DISCOVERY


Libération

“From the silky timbre of the diva assoluta, to the astonishing presence of the orchestra, these splendidly edited vinyl and CD box sets sound like a revelation.”

The Rise of an Incomparable Voice

Maria Callas was born in New York on December 2, 1923. She was introduced to music at an early age by her mother, herself a passionate opera fan. She began her musical studies at the Athens Conservatory, and at just 15 made her first stage appearance.

A legendary career

Maria Callas made her professional debut at the Athens Opera in 1941. It was at her debut at La Scala in Milan in 1951 that she revealed herself to the world. She left a lasting impression with her exceptional voice and outstanding stage presence. She worked with the greatest conductors of the time, including Tullio Serafin and Leonard Bernstein.

Maria Callas remains one of the greatest divas in the history of opera, renowned for her immense talent, unique voice and extremely varied repertoire.

A majestic finale on stage

In 1965, after an exceptional career that marked the history of opera, Maria Callas chose to step back from the stage. Yet her retirement did not mean farewell to music. Despite her retirement, the Diva continues to influence the world of music through studio recordings and masterclasses she gives to new generations of singers. Each of her appearances becomes an event in itself, underlining her influence and her status as an immortal icon of the operatic world.

In this post-scene phase of his career, our edition of Lucia di Lammermoor is particularly noteworthy. Captured in concert on September 29, 1955 at Berlin's Städtische Oper, this performance remains, without doubt, one of the most important operatic testimonies of the 20th century. Despite the years that have passed since this recording was made, the meticulous restoration work has restored the legendary orchestra and voices to their original brilliance.

Sadly, Maria Callas passed away on September 16, 1977 in Paris. Her death marked the end of an era, but her legacy lives on through her recordings and her invaluable contribution to opera. Even today, Maria Callas' voice continues to touch and inspire opera lovers the world over.


"To me, the art of music is magnificient and I cannot bear to see it treated in a shabby way"

OUR HAPPY MUSIC LOVERS